Central Okanagan  

Snow, thundershowers and hail

A cold flow from the north west, along with falling freezing levels brought a dump of snow in the high terrain mountain passes.

DriveBC issued travel advisories for both the Coquihalla and Highway 97c after nearly 30cm of snow fell at the summits.

According to Doug Lundquist of Environment Canada the cold front came through Kelowna around 5:30 a.m. Monday morning and moved south toward Penticton as the day progressed.

"When it went through the North Okanagan, there were wind gusts in the 60 to 65 km per hour range, but as it moved to Penticton winds were up around 70 km hour."

Lundquist adds that in the next 36 hours the Okanagan valley could see thundershowers, hail and a risk of frost.

"Tuesday will be an improvement, but I would be cautious about traveling in the higher mountain passes," he explains. "By Wednesday it will have passed as a ridge of high pressure starts to build in from the west . . . we can expect by the weekend to have highs in the mid 20s."

The current northerly flow originated in Alaska brought cold air down across BC, but that is expected to change in the coming days as the flow will come from Hawaii brining warmer temperatures.

Lundquist isn't speculating on the weather much past Sunday, stating the computer models are each giving a different outlook for the week ahead.

"I use four different computer models, I look at the Canadian, the US, the European and the UK. And depending on which one I look at it is a very different solution beyond the weekend. A couple of them say the ridge will persist and it will stay warm into next week. But the European solution says it is going to be very cold again, with another vigorous cold front moving in."

He also warns that the Kelowna area could be hit with severe thunderstorms between Monday afternoon and Wednesday morning and cautions residents to stay inside during this time.

"Please be aware to go inside when there is a storm, when thunder roars go in doors."

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